Life today can be hectic and overwhelming to say the least. There is certainly a place in our day to be given to in depth study dedicated to our success in life. Sometimes, though, you just want to get right to the meat. This is the aim of this blog post. Continue reading The Wall
Is there something you want to do or accomplish? Is this thing that you want causing you stress, worry or anxiety? Do you wish you could skip past the challenges of getting started and simply find yourself in the comfort of already being fully immersed in the realization of your goal? If you find yourself mulling over similar questions in your mind, then you have come to the right place! Continue reading Comfort Killer
This post asks a monumentally important question. When embarking on a new quest, whether it is a new business, furthering your education formally or attempting to reinvent yourself, it all begins with an idea. For most, our ideas are pretty lofty and tend to reside in the ozone some place. Our job at this point, if we truly intend to make the idea a reality, is to bring that idea from the ozone to the success zone! Continue reading Go from Ozone to Success Zone!
I have not conducted a formal study on the biggest challenges that our society faces today, but I think even a moderately observant person would agree that among the top issues is that of responsibility. I believe that the blame game has become an epidemic in our nation. One needs only to turn on the news on any given day and listen, I mean truly listen to what is being said. It seems everyone is blaming everyone else and everything else for the ills facing us today. Mothers of criminals blaming the police for their adult children being killed in a police chase. You have anti-gun people blaming gun manufacturers for violence. Republicans blame democrats and democrats blaming republicans for everything that is wrong in our nation. And the list goes on almost without end!
How often do you see this mindset creeping into your own neighborhood or circle of acquaintances? It is awful! Do you know why it is so awful? The answer may surprise you. It comes down to a matter of control. You see, if we as individuals engage in attitudes of personal responsibility then the control for change of the things we do not like or approve of lie with us. The keys of change are in our own hands and we can determine proper adjustments in our course that will lead to different outcomes, more positive outcomes. Conversely, if we do not walk in personal responsibility then we hand over control to someone else or some other power, authority or ruling body. When we give up the keys to change, we are stuck in a perpetual rut, a rut of our own making.
This is what happens when we want to lay claim to the responsibility when things go right only. It is easy to pat ourselves on the back when we succeed. It feels good to cue people in to the one responsible for all the obvious good in our life. Oh how we love to feed the monster of pride! When the outcomes of our own decisions are not the desired or intended outcomes we tend to run and hide and point our fingers as a societal norm. As long as we do this, we are essentially saying the control is over there; I’m helpless and a victim, there is nothing I can do. How does that feel? No wonder there is so much angst and tension in our nation today, we have collectively raised a generation of helpless, powerless victims who are angry and tired of being victims. The trouble is that everything they read, hear and listen to through the media pats them on the back and reinforces them in their unenviable position. Only when the message gets out that the fix is to stop blaming others, take responsibility and therefore take control over their lives and future and begin to make choices and decisions that will lead to better outcomes.
The power of choice and the power of a decision in the end is the most powerful tool we as individuals have in forging the life we say we desire. Who are you going to give the power to in your life? Great leaders are not great blame givers, they are great responsibility takers. Take the responsibility for your own life, make the best choices you can, follow through on those choices with appropriate action and reap the future you desire!
I believe it was Thomas Edison who famously said that he had not failed, he had merely discovered ten thousand ways that don’t work. Is that not a beautiful take on perspective and determination?
There are many more famous examples of people who have literally failed their way to success! It doesn’t seem at first glance that the two are compatible, but indeed they are a close kin. Look at it this way, if all we do is dream about what it would be like to do something big, but never take a step towards the dream we are absolutely guaranteed to fail and never realize the dream. Truth be told, if we take a chance and step out in faith towards our dreams there is no promise of attaining the goal or even being any closer to the goal after we try. So why try at all if this is the way it is? There is something so amazing and surprisingly satisfying in our best attempts that makes the effort worth the while.
Speaking for myself, I know that there are enormous heaps of failure in between each success I have experienced along the way. You can say that when measuring the failures compared to the successes that overall I’m a failure right? If we are simply counting the numbers of failures versus successes, then I suppose, but who does that? The runner who competes and fails to place in race after race could be deemed a failure. However, the training and preparation that goes into each race strengthens the runner and puts them in a place where even though they may have lost this race, they are poised to improve the next them they try. Plus, lessons learned through the course of failure refine their approach next time. For some, simply being able to complete a race is reward enough regardless of winning or losing! But just imagine the exhilaration of the day that runner crosses the finish line first! Do you think at that moment they are looking back over their years of failure and accepting that because they failed more than they won that they are in fact a loser somehow? NO! Absolutely not! In that moment the first success is realized, all the failure is now nothing more than mere preparation that lead to this now sweet moment of supreme accomplishment.
I dare say that this scenario applies to me and you no matter what our ‘race’ of choice. It doesn’t matter how many times I got rejected trying to get a job in broadcasting. When I finally landed my first job, I wasn’t crying about all the missed opportunities, but instead, was celebrating the fact I had one now! When I found my beautiful wife and mother of my two amazing children I didn’t look back at all the failed relationships and label myself a social failure. No! I rejoiced in the fact that I now basked in the glorious success of finding the one for me! As an author, I don’t look at all the failed attempts to write a book and think of me as a failed author. No! I look at my book, “Power In Perseverance” and the lives that have been changed and the blessings that have come through the open door of radio & TV interviews because of it, and I see a resounding success!
We have to choose what we focus on. How do you like that? Another visual pun from a blind man! I can choose to focus on failure, but then my negative outlook will feed upon itself and become a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts and I will continue to live in failure. Or, I can choose to focus on my accomplishments and the joy they have added to my life and allow myself to be defined by them instead of the failed attempts.
If this blind, cancer survivor, heart patient can overcome the obstacles in my life, then why can’t you? What is your excuse? What is holding you back? If it is your attitude and perspective that’s easy to change, just make the decision. If it is a disability or other life challenge, that’s ok, you can still overcome it and get to where you want to go. You just need to find someone like you who has done it before. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. I believe that! If someone, anyone like you or me has done something before then so can we!
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Our goals and desires in life, if meaningful enough to us, will drive us to do whatever it takes to succeed. There are times that this drive and raw excitement can for many of us turn into a crazy and at times seemingly out of control ride. We spin in all directions, firing on all cylinders and appear to be amazingly busy. When pursuing our goals, however, busy is not necessarily good all the time. Here is what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, we need to be busy that is how things get done, we just don’t need to be so busy that we have our hand in so many things nothing really gets accomplished in the end.
Let’s look at the differences in focus. I like to liken it to the shooting range. Believe it or not, I enjoy the shooting sport. Hard to believe, I know, but even with severely limited sight I can still hit certain color and size targets from fairly close ranges, usually 10 to 20 feet or so. If I had a silhouette target set about 20 feet in front of me and decided todo some target practice there are two types of guns I might be inclined to try out. One may be a handgun of some sort with a laser pointer on it. I don’t actually own one, but for illustration of making this point I will ‘pretend!” I think most people using a laser-sighted gun can hit the target nearly every time if their pull is firm and steady. With laser focus you can stay on target and reach the goal, in this case scoring a bullseye! Then, perhaps we might think about trying the shotgun on the next target. The shotgun will also enable you to hit the target, but in a much different way. The shotgun sends out a spray of pellets that become more and more spread out the longer the distance they travel. With the handgun and laser I can put several rounds within a tight grouping in and around the actual bullseye center of the target. With the shotgun, I may very well hit the target, but there is no guarantee how many of those pellets will get anywhere near the bullseye. Out of say 9 pellets that go down range maybe only four of them hit the target. Out of those four pellets one hit the copyright information way at the bottom of the target, off the silhouette. A second pellet hit high and left of center. The third pellet hit the edge of the paper where it was taped to the wood, but not actually on the target itself. Maybe the forth hit several inches right of center. So while the shotgun approach in general helps you to have a tactical advantage in real life, on a paper target, it is actually not advantageous at all! Aside from the thrill of feeling the powerful kick of the shotgun, there is little value in target shooting.
This relates to our personal lives in the following ways to varying degrees depending upon your specific situation. Firstly, if we focus our energies in a single endeavor we are more likely to hit what we are most focused upon. If we have too many things we are attempting to achieve at one time the likelihood of any real success at any o them is greatly reduced. Better to have singular purpose and one by one pick off your goals.
In my life, this seems to be the case. When I am focused on something and I can give it my full attention, success is close at hand. If I find myself juggling too many things at once, frustration is usually by my side.